McLeod Health and HHS Partner to Expand Access to Monoclonal Antibody Therapy for COVID-19 Patients in Northeast South Carolina
McLEOD REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER 10 AUG 2021
McLeod Health, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today announced that it has expanded the access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy in multiple locations. For people who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease and who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, this promising mAb treatment has been shown to help prevent disease progression that might otherwise require hospitalization.
With the rapid spread of the Delta variant and only 45% of the population fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the state of South Carolina is in the midst of a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases. As of Aug. 9, the state had an average of more than 2,500 cases per day over the past week, up from about 200 cases per day a month ago. In response to the growing need for medical care in the region, beginning today, McLeod Health will provide expanded access to mAb infusion to eligible patients at four sites: McLeod Regional Medical Center, McLeod Health Clarendon, McLeod Health Seacoast and McLeod Health Loris. To confirm treatment eligibility, receive a referral and make an appointment, patients should go online at www.McLeodCovid.org or contact McLeod Health’s COVID Call Center at 843-777-2919 for more information. A copy of the patient’s positive test result is required to make an appointment.
If given within 10 days of the onset of symptoms of COVID-19, the single treatment is very effective in neutralizing the virus and preventing symptoms from worsening. The treatment is administered by intravenous infusion.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this important initiative and are committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our community have access to COVID-19 care,” said Dr. Dale Lusk, Company Medical Director and Vice -President of quality. and Security for McLeod Health. “Monoclonal antibody treatments have been offered to COVID-19 positive patients at McLeod Health since November 2020, and continuing to provide this service ensures that we are playing a central role in helping our region and state recover from this pandemic. “
“We know this treatment can save many lives. With the Delta variant increasing the number again in our state, this is an essential tool in helping our patients recover and also in curbing the spread of COVID-19, ”he continued.
“South Carolina is seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases that cannot be ignored, and the delta variant is driving it,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, director of public health at the Department of Health and South Carolina Environmental Control. “Until we defeat COVID-19 there will be more and more people who will find themselves infected, which is why it is so important to have monoclonal antibody therapy treatments available and partners like McLeod Health invested to serve families in underserved areas of South Carolina.
On March 17, 2021, the HHS announced it was investing $ 150 million to increase access to mAb treatment for high-risk patients in underserved and disadvantaged communities across the country. With support from KPMG LLP, HHS is developing new prototype models to expand access to mAb treatment and leverage an existing network of healthcare partners to deliver therapy to underserved and disadvantaged populations.
McLeod is the first provider organization in South Carolina to join this health equity initiative and joins a growing list of KPMG-backed and HHS-sponsored mAbs therapy providers as part of the federal effort to help end to COVID-19 and improve health equity in underserved communities across the country. In addition to the four sites in South Carolina, more than 30 infusion sites have now been established or expanded as part of this initiative in Landover, MD; San Diego, California; Detroit, Michigan; Barnstable County, MA; Houston, TX; Beckley, West Virginia; Worcester, MA; western Michigan; and southern Missouri.
“People across the country continue to test positive for COVID-19, and many of them are still at great risk of serious hospitalization and even death from this virus,” said Dr John Redd , chief medical officer of the deputy secretary’s office. for preparedness and response to the US Department of Health and Human Services. “We encourage anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to discuss with their healthcare provider whether monoclonal antibody treatment is right for them. We’re excited to partner with leaders in the medical community, like McLeod Health, to make this treatment more accessible. “
The therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the United States Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. A phase 3 clinical trial showed that antibody therapy reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by up to 70% in patients who received the drug intravenously compared to those who received a placebo.
To be eligible for treatment with mAb, patients must meet the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) definition of “high risk”. Same day COVID-19 testing may be performed, followed by a telemedicine visit for assessment and qualification for treatment. After the end of infusion therapy, patients are monitored on site for one hour. Treatment is offered regardless of immigration status, health insurance coverage or ability to pay.
McLeod Health: Founded in 1906, McLeod Health is a locally owned and operated nonprofit, supported by the force of approximately 850 its medical staff and over 2,700 registered nurses (registered nurses; advanced practice nurses – including certified nurse anesthetists, certified nurse practitioners and nurse midwives; as well as licensed practical nurses). McLeod Health is also made up of approximately 8,900 employees and more than 90 physicians practice throughout its 18-county service area. With seven hospitals, McLeod Health operates three health and fitness centers, an outpatient sports medicine and rehabilitation center, a hospice and home health services. McLeod Health hospitals include: McLeod Regional Medical Center, McLeod Health Dillon, McLeod Health Loris, McLeod Health Seacoast, McLeod Health Cheraw, McLeod Health Clarendon, and McLeod Behavioral Health. Also on the coast, the McLeod Health Carolina Forest complex operates an emergency department with diagnostic services, a medical office building with doctors and specialists, outpatient testing, occupational health services, and rehabilitation services in the areas. first two of the seven office buildings in the medical park as an extension. from McLeod Loris Seacoast Hospital.
About COVID Crush: Treatment for COVID-19 is here and is available in every state at hundreds of locations across the country. With help from KPMG, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state and local health departments, and local hospitals and health clinics, eligible patients will have increased access to mAb treatment. in a growing number of underserved and disadvantaged communities through this initiative. Authorized by the FDA, monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy is available for patients who test positive for COVID-19 and who are considered to be at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and / or d ” be hospitalized. To learn more about eligibility and find a treatment center near you, visit https://crushcovid.com.